India @ Cannes Lions 2012

Cannes Lions 2012 concluded amidst great fanfare on 23rd June 2012. The 59th edition of the International festival of Creativity had raised quite a few expectations for India, considering that 1,182 Indian entries were sent this year.
However, the number of metals that India bagged at Cannes 2012 were 14. Although most of the Indian entries received appreciation, the total tally of metals has certainly been disappointing. In 2007, India had won 12 metals. In 2008, the count went to 23. In 2011, the lions count increased to 24.
India won three gold lions this year, compared to last year; when the number of gold lions was just one.
McCann World Group’s outdoor campaign for Western Union won a gold lion in the Outdoor Lions category. DDB Mudra’s ‘The Hinglish Project’ for Ministry of Tourism, Government of India bagged a gold lion in the Design Lions category, besides also winning a bronze in the same category. Taproot India’s film” I Am Mumbai” for Mumbai Mirror won a gold lion in the Film Craft category.
Besides, entries like Leo Burnett’s Bajaj Electricals, Cheil Worldwide’s campaign for Samsung Printers, BBDO India’s You Shave, I shave campaign for Gillette, Mentos Sour Marbles by Ogilvy & Mather were some of the entries that have bagged metals for India.
India failed to make it to categories like Cyber Lions, Mobile Lions. The most coveted Titanium and Integrated category could not work wonders for India.
Adgully spoke to a few industry experts to know their take on India’ show at Cannes 2012.

  K.V. Sridhar, NCD, Leo Burnett India said, “ It was disappointing to see that we did not have the big winning  ideas or fresh thinking and even new age media break throughs.” He also observed that India relied heavily on traditional media and craft to make it big at the festival. 

Sridhar exclaimed, “We need to adopt a fresh approach in terms of thinking and big platform ideas. The last big idea the world has seen from India was "Lead India. We need to change that and think like Japan, which came out with life changing ideas than Brazil's ones off ads. Sridhar believes that it was ideas galore at Cannes 2012 and the upsurge of ideas was the biggest takeaway for him.
 Manish Bhatt -Founder Director at Scarecrow Communications Ltd, who was a part of the jury at Cannes 2012 said, “A tally of 14 lions is definitely not a mean achievement. I have been a part of the judging process and therefore say that it is extremely tough. 24 people from different nationalities are not necessarily going to agree to your entry. It is all a game of probabilities. Sometimes you score high, sometimes you score low. Even some usually winning countries did not fare well this year.”
Giving an insight into the factors that may have led to the India’s dismal performance, he said, “There were entries that were technologically superior to ours. Thus, technology is one of the crucial factors that needs to be worked upon.” He also observed that now entries are judged not only from a creative perspective but also from the effectiveness perspective. Greater awards are given to those entries which contribute largely to the society. This is a new pattern which India needs to understand.
Pointing out towards Lead India’s entry which had made it big at Cannes by winning the Direct Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions 2008 and giving the country its first Integrated Lion in the Titanium and Integrated category, he said, the largeness of the idea was one factor that helped it win.
Manish states that entries need to be packaged well.  He believes that next year the Satyameva Jayate entry would definitely make it big at Cannes. He also asserted that traditional mediums like print and outdoor have failed to evoke attention of the fraternity as compared to categories like Direct, Promo and Titanium and Integrated have become increasingly popular.
 Varun Arora-Executive Creative Director, Cheil Worldwide SW Asia, was extremely optimistic about India’s performance at the Cannes next year. He says,” We Indians are innate storytellers. We just need to catch up with the modern (new age) language of marketing.  It will take us some time and then we will be on the go and maybe even overtake quite a few countries.”
He believes that Ogilvy and Mather’s entry for Satyameva Jayate will rock Cannes next year. He also expressed faith that Cheil India would come up with interesting innovations.
Varun believes that there is a dearth of bigger and better connections in our ideas. He exclaims that India needs to think beyond the 30 second commercial. “Agencies across the world have proved that they can invent stuff, actual stuff, and any invention is better than an advertisement.”  says Varun.
He seemed extremely happy about Cheil Worldwide’s Minus One Project bagging a metal at Cannes. He emphasized that Indian agencies need to do more than advertising and come up with large scale ideas. Varun adds that we are the world beaters who have just started out.
Abhinay Deo, whose film won a gold lion for India in the Film Craft category, believes that there is no thumb rule for winning at Cannes. He said, “The work that we enter has to be exceptionally good and at par with international standards. It’s a very tough and competitive environment out there. It is extremely difficult to get your work recognized  at Cannes, because the competition is against the best in the world.”
Abhinay expresses concern over the fact that Indian film are touted to be emotional, but the interpretations behind these emotions are not understood. He exclaims that we need to focus on the technology aspect  to be at par with the West.
Cannes Lions 2012: India tally
Gold Winners: DDB Mudra, McCann Worldgroup, Ramesh Deo Prod won 1 metal each
Silver Winners: Cheil Worldwide 1, Leo Burnett 2
Bronze Winners: Bacardi India 1, BBDO India 2, DDB Mudra 1, Leo Burnett 1, Ogilvy India 3



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